Sainsbury’s third quarter trading update: Eyes on the margins

J Sainsbury PLC’s third quarter trading update (LSE:SBRY), should provide a better idea of how the grocers did this Christmas. They came a day ahead larger rival Tesco.

According to industry data, the grocer is the first to report on Christmas after what appears to have been a strong one.

Kantar research found that Christmas spending exceeded £12bn during the four weeks leading up to 25 December. This was the first time in four weeks that it has exceeded £12bn.

Margin is the key metric you should be paying attention to for next week, as much of the increase in spending can be attributed price increases.

Sainsbury’s, however, has remained as cost-conscious as possible. Hargreaves Lansdown analysts believe that the grocer is the only one to increase its volume share.

This approach may be competitive, but it does not impact profits. Profits were down 8% during the first half.